Overview

Compressed gases are, by their nature, hazardous. They are all capable of creating environments that are either flammable, oxygen enriched, or oxygen deficient. Consider a gas as common as nitrogen, which comprises almost 80% of the earth's atmosphere. Even it can displace breathable oxygen in an enclosed space and cause asphyxiation.

There are over 200 different gaseous and related types of materials distributed in gas cylinders. Compressed gases are present almost everywhere, from health care centers where they supply critical oxygen to patients for breathing, to manufacturing environments where gases are used in welding, chemical or analytical operations, or to fuel powered industrial vehicles. Because gas containers are common in everyday activities, many times the dangers of these cylinders are overlooked and not given appropriate safety considerations. Something as simple as a sudden release of gas from a cylinder can cause it to become a powerful missile-like projectile.

Compressed gas hazards are varied, from the physical properties of the gases themselves, to the potential dangers associated with handling cylinders, to the special precautions necessary to safely move or store gas cylinders. Knowing the hazards associated with the gases your employees handle and the necessary precautions is imperative to maintain a safe working environment.

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